About Me

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” -Annie Dillard

I have been taking myself seriously as a writer since I was about seven years old, when Mrs. Smarz, my second grade teacher at Pe Ell Elementary School, thumbtacked a picture above the chalkboard and instructed her earnest little class to “Make up a story.”

I grew up on a farm in southwest Washington State, one of five children and about 300 cousins. Unlike everyone else, I didn’t get married right out of high school, so I spent several years waiting tables and working in the restaurant industry. Eventually, I decided to go to college, where I earned an MFA in poetry and a PhD in American Literature from the University of Washington, served as a poetry editor for Seattle Review, volunteered with both the Castalia and Watermark Reading Series at the UW, and — oh, yeah — married, adopted three daughters, found a tenure-track community college teaching job…and kept writing.

More recently…girls are growing up, my mother is ill, and I’ve retired from full-time teaching.

Click on the link to go to my earlier blog, One Bad Poem.

If I can write, anyone can write. If you don’t have scads of time, write for fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes sound too much? Write for five. Just write. And let me know what happens.

CAM00365
Me on the ferry, Sept. 2014, on my way to visit Mom.

 

13 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Since I am retired with no further excuses, I will give it a shot. I’ll be spending the time between now and November getting my chops in shape. I made a “daily page-count” plan and so far have met it. Today is day one, and I did one page!

    1. Carol — you remind me of former students who have told me all about their sobriety and then added, “I have one day.” One day is good! I need to put myself on a tighter schedule for the work I’m trying to do now.

  2. Hello Bethany,
    I didn’t know you had this blog until you tapped into bobandjack’s. Tracked you back here. Very nice. how old is a writer…very interesting. Take care. Hope to run into you again. Did Priscilla tell you that she has an article coming out in Smithsonian? Yes. J

    1. Jack — so cool to hear from you! I have blogged about you before (after your craft talk in Ballard), but hadn’t “followed” the blog officially until now. I refer students to it all the time. Thanks for the note.

  3. Bethany,
    I had the pleasure of hearing you read at Third Place Books this past week. I really love your work. Might I get a copy of “Contract’? I’ve been looking online and cannot seem to locate it.
    Thanks so much.

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